Mobile Shoppers: 25 Minutes in Store, Fewer Come Back

Most mobile shoppers are spending more time in stores but not as many are going back.

The percentage of shoppers who go into a store and leave relatively quickly is also on the rise, according to a new mobile tracking study.

Based on measuring tens of millions of shopping trips by tracking the movement of smartphones at malls and stores, Euclid found that shoppers in April spent on average 25 minutes in a store.

This is measured by the time a shopper goes into a store until they leave. For the same period last year, shoppers spent 23 minutes.

The somewhat good news for retailers is that some (13%) of shoppers came back to the store more than once during April. The somewhat bad news is that the number is 2% lower than a year ago.

The tracking study also found a 10% decrease in overall shopper traffic and Euclid estimates that general merchandise, apparel and furniture retail sales in April decreased by as much as 2%.

More mobile shoppers also appear to be going in and out of stores faster. One in 10 shoppers who entered a store left within five minutes, an increase from 8% last April.

The obvious implication is that merchants have a shorter time to convert these dabbling shoppers but a significantly longer amount of time to deal with the majority.

This split reminds me of the difference between consumers who shop via mobile website vs. those who shop by app.

Many retailers tell me most of their commerce comes from the mobile Web, just like most shoppers spend a longer period of time in a store.

Merchants also say their commerce app users tend to be loyal customers, those looking for a richer experience with deeper ties to the brand.

I’m not sure this correlates to those who go in and out of a store more quickly than most, but the result of the dichotomy between those who spend shorter times in stores than most highlights a similar dilemma.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for how retailers deal with mobile shoppers, who continually tend to find new ways to use their mobile devices to research, compare, shop and transact.

Though maybe not welcome news for retailers, they need to be investing in and resourcing all of the above.

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2 comments about "Mobile Shoppers: 25 Minutes in Store, Fewer Come Back".
  1. Pete Austin from Triggered Messaging , May 11, 2014 at 7:23 a.m.
    Sigh. When smartphones started, they were owned by a few rich adults. Since then, they have got cheaper and steadily replaced dumb cellphones, until now they are the majority. Over this period, the demographics of smartphone owners have changed each year - e.g. more are children and they have less money on average. So any attempt to draw conclusions for retailers, based on headline numbers, seems doomed.
  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin , May 11, 2014 at 7:40 p.m.
    No such attempt made here, Pete.